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Economy

Insecurity making investment in Northern states difficult — NCCIMA President

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The Niger Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NCCIMA) says the recent spate of insecurity in the Northern parts of the country has made the region unattractive to investors.

President of NCCIMA,  Alh. Abdul Hassan, said this on Thursday in Minna at the inauguration of the 17th Niger National Trade-fair.

Hassan decried a situation where insecurity had made doing business in the North impossible.

“This trade fair came with its attendant challenges, most especially fear of our brothers from other parts of the country that all parts of the North are infested with kidnappers.

“All attempts to convince them to come fell on deaf ears.

“If the security situation continues this way in this region, doing business in the North may be impossible,” he said.

According to Hassan, there ware communities in the region whose farmers no longer go to the farm for fear of being attacked by bandits.

“When they eventually go, they end up being attacked by bandits and they end up paying ransom to the bandits or risk being injured or killed,” he said.

He, however, stressed the need for states to be active in trade fairs organised by their counterparts in all parts of the country.

The NCCIMA president also decried the low participation of the 25 Local Government Areas of the state in the fair, saying that it would not augur well for the economic development of the state.

“Niger state has set the pace in the North as one of the states that hold their trade fairs on an annual basis in spite of the challenges.

“However, we need to attend other trade fairs for others to attend ours.

“Even while other states attend our trade fairs, the same cannot be said of the local government areas in Niger state.

“They barely attend our fairs and when they do, only few exhibit their wares.

“This situation is not good for our economic growth,” he said.

Inaugurating the fair, the state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Bello said that the state government intended to partner with various organisations, countries and individuals participating at the fair depending on the prospects available.

Bello, who was represented by Alh. Mudi Mohammed, the state’s Commissioner for Investment, Commerce and Industry, praised NCCIMA for holding the fair against all the odds.

Director General  NCCIMA, Alh. Adamu Salihu, said that 150 business organisations were expected to participate in the trade fair, but many could not because of security fears.

Earlier, Mr Eke Lawrence, an indigene of Imo and Coordinator of Securities and Exchange Commission pavilion at the fair, told the News Agency of Nigeria that the state was peaceful compared with what he heard before attending the fair.

Lawrence said that in the course of the fair, the commission created awareness on the operations of the capital market in the country. 

Economy

NIMPORT seeks connectivity with inland dry port to ease cargo traffic

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The Nigerian International Maritime Ports and Terminals (NIMPORT), a port and terminal promotion body, has appealed to the Federal Government to ensure seamless connectivity for cargo and human traffic.

NIMPORT Chairman Mr Fortune Idu made the appeal in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos on Saturday.

“The focus should be full connectivity, from the port to the hinterland.

“There should be full and seamless connectivity for cargo and human traffic as it will actually help the country achieve its potential.

“The Minister of Transportation should not relent in moving the sector forward.

“There should not be politicking about connectivity, about decongesting Lagos as the focus is actually on the western axis.

“We can achieve the decongestion of Lagos and pull people out of Lagos into neighboring states such as Ogun and Oyo states by making the railways work.

“The rail project should be completed as quickly as possible.”

Idu pointed out that the sector was hoping and aspiring to see a Lagos without container traffic, saying that having containers dropping off bridges in a busy and populated city like Lagos was appalling and unthinkable.

He urged the Lagos State government and the Federal Government to work closely and ensure that Lagos is rid of container traffic.

“I expect that bulk breaking of container content should be done outside the main commercial city of Lagos and that can only be achieved with real connectivity and where you have inland terminals and rail stations around Lagos.

“With rail stations in Ogun State, Lokoja or even between Ibadan and Lagos, containers could be immediately moved out of Lagos the moment they are offloaded from the ship to places where they could be bulk broken.

“Then you have the distribution network by road.

“Having a full container load traveling on the bridges is not good at all,” he said.

He spoke of the need to ensure that rivers in the country were navigable.

According to him, once the rivers are navigable, containers could be moved from Lagos across the rivers in batches.

CAN/YEE

(Edited by Emmanuel Yashim)

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Economy

DPR sanctions 2 retail outlets, 2 gas plants in Delta

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Warri Zonal Office, says it has sanctioned two petrol stations and two gas plants in Delta over alleged sharp practices.

The affected stations are: Akpos Petroleum Limited, G-Palash Nigeria Limited and Onejire Gas Plant all located in Ughelli as well as Somil Energy and Gas Ltd.

Mrs Gladys Idahosa, DPR Assistant Director, Operations, led a team of the regulatory agency on the routine surveillance on behalf of the Warri zonal Operations Controller, Mr Antai Asuquo.

Idahosa, briefing newsmen shortly after the exercise, said the stations were sealed over offences bordering on under-dispensing, operating without valid licences, expired fire extinguishers and uninstalled gas leakage detectors.

She said that the agency would continue to intensify awareness through routine

surveillance to curb anomalies in the downstream sector.

“In some of the gas plants we visited, we observed that some do not install gas leakage detectors, nor do they recharged their fire extinguishers.

“However, some are up to date; they operate in a friendly environment while only one gas plant sealed was for safety reasons.

“A lot of the gas plants and filling stations are complying with the DPR rules that is why we could only sealed very few ones,” she said.

Idahosa said that the team’s visit to retail outlets regularly was to take measurements of quantity of fuel being dispensed.

According to her, anyone that goes above the accepted “deviation range” were sanctioned.

“We call the marketer to get a technician to fix it and we go and verify that the machine is dispensing accurately before we unsealed such station,” she said.

The assistant director operations urged the consumers to always notify DPR whenever they noticed a shortfall in the petrol they bought from the filling stations.

She also appealed to the marketers to cooperate with the regulatory agency and abide by its rules and regulations.

“We are not witch-hunters; the marketers should cooperate with us by complying with our rules so that we can work as a team.

“Our intention is to ensure that they work safely and in a safe environment,” he said.

The Nigeria News Agency recalled that the regulatory agency had in July sealed 11 petrol stations and two gas plants in two separate operations.

However, a manager at Akpos Petroleum Limited, who pleaded anonymity, promised to call a technician to rectify the problem as soon as possible.

The manager said that the station’s pump measured 10.92, while another measured 10.72 as against the maximum measurement of 10.30.

EDI/GOK

Edited by Olagoke Olatoye

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Economy

Moghalu decries Nigeria’s continued dependence on oil

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Prof. Kingsley Moghalu, a presidential candidate for the Young Progressives Party (YPP) in the 2019 presidential election, has expressed concern about the nation’s reliance on oil as a major source of revenue generation.

He recommended technology and innovation as alternatives, citing the examples of developed countries.

He stated this in Abuja, at the 10th Nigeria Meritorious Service Award and Nigeria Political Achievers Award organised by the Federation of West African Freelance Journalist Association.

The event, which ended late Friday night, was organised to honour some Nigerians who distinguished themselves in politics and other fields.

Moghalu, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said that oil belonged to ”the distant age; the world today is of technology, innovation and science”.

According to him, the country needs government that will give youths a sense of purpose and employment to achieve their destinies.

“In the future, we don’t have to continue the political system the way it has always been,” Moghalu said.

He observed that political leaders should be judged by their achievements in office in terms of job creation and economic growth.

”To have the desired change in the country, every Nigerian most change the way they think and act,” he advised.

He also advised that the CBN ought to be truly independent to ensure enhanced performance.

According to him, when independent institutions such as the CBN gets directives that may serve transient political purpose, the long term effect may not be the best for the country.

Edited by Kayode Olaitan

——-

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Economy

CBN injects $297.92 into secondary market

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has injected  297.92 million dollars into the retail Secondary Market Intervention Sales (SMIS).

The bank’s Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr Isaac Okorafor made this known in a statement in Abuja on Friday.

Okarafor disclosed that CBN also injected CNY21.2million in the spot and short-tenured forwards segment of the inter-bank foreign market.

According to him, the United States dollars-denominated transactions are to meet requests in the agricultural and raw materials sectors, while those in Chinese Yuan are for Renminbi-denominated Letters of Credit.

The director reiterated that the bank’s management was satisfied with the continued stability in the foreign exchange market.

He assured that the CBN remained committed to meeting  foreign exchange needs of all sectors of the economy.

Meanwhile, N358 was exchanged to a dollar, while CNY1 exchanged at N46 at the Bureau De Change (BDC) segment of the foreign exchange market on Friday.

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Economy

No electricity tariff increase has been approved yet —— NERC

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), says no tariff increase has been approved by the commission yet.

In a statement, Mr Usman Arabi, NERC’s General Manager, Public Affairs, however,  in a statement on Friday in Abuja said it was still consulting with stakeholders.

He said that the commission  wished to notify the public that no tariff increase had been approved by the commission contrary to the impression in some quarters.

“However, the commission in the discharge of its statutory responsibilities enshrined under the  Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSR) Act, shall continue to undertake periodic reviews of electricity tariffs in accordance with prevailing tariff methodology.

`In all instances of such reviews and rule-making, the commission shall widely consult stakeholders and final decision shall be  taken with  due regard of all contributions,” he said. .

Arabi said that the commission wished to provide guidance that the minor review implemented by the commission was a retrospective adjustment of the tariff regime released in 2015

He said that this was to account for changes in macroeconomic indices for 2016, 2017 and 2018, “thus providing certainty about revenue shortfall that may have arisen due to the differential between tariffs approved by the regulator and actual end-user tariffs,” he said

 

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